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What is the purpose of the law of torts?

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  1. Introduction
  2. The importance of compensation
  3. Towards a compensation culture
  4. Deterrence
  5. Conclusion

According to Sir Henry Maine, ?the penal law of ancient communities is not the law of crimes; it is the law of wrongs, or to use the English technical word, of tort? . If the tortious liability seems to be an old principle of law, it is important to underline that tort law has only been a distinct area of study in law since 1860 with Addison's Wrongs and Their Remedies: Being a Treatise on the Law of Torts. Nowadays, torts is often compared to Contract Law ? and also often mistaken or used similarly as it is showed by the number of conflicts of law involving tort and contract law. If defining tort law is in no means easy, it is important though to make the distinction between these two subjects, which are both part of Civil Law. On the contrary to contract law, where people are linked by a contract that makes them have obligations to each other, ?there is no such agreement in torts and obligations are imposed to every person as a matter of law? .

Having understood this definition, we may wonder what is the main objective of tort law. In order to understand the purpose of the law of torts, we will study three main subjects: first, the role of compensation in the law of torts, which includes the idea of corrective justice and appeasement, then we will wonder if the law of tort is not leading to a kind of compensation culture, and to finish we will show and criticize the purpose of deterrence law of torts can have.

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